Dragging yourself into the gym is the hardest exercise of all – one that’s compounded by warm, sunny weather. Thankfully, you can perform a varied and effective workout outdoors and without the plethora of equipment – or cost – of your typical sweatbox.
“You’ll probably do a more effective workout outdoors,” says Mr Sam Burrows (@samburrowspt), an east London-based trainer and lululemon ambassador who teaches various bodyweight disciplines such as calisthenics and Animal Flow at small-group studios such as Blok and Fieldworks. “In gyms, you’re constantly distracted by other people, music, phones.” Whereas outdoors, out of sight and earshot of the sodcasting swelfie-takers, you can dial into what you’re doing. “You feel the workout a bit more,” says Mr Burrows.
Open-air training confers other benefits that even the fanciest air-conditioned facility can’t boast. A report published last year by UK researchers, based on data from 20 countries, linked time spent in green space to better overall health and reduced risk of stress, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death. In Japan, shinrin-yoku or “forest-bathing” (walking, sitting or lying in the woods, fully clothed mind) is a popular therapy. In the US, some doctors have started prescribing the outdoors like a drug. Just a five-minute dose of nature is proven to boost your mood.